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Dr. Robert Hawker
(1753-1827)

Union and Communion with Christ


SACRAMENTAL MEDITATIONS.

IV. CHRIST, THE BREAD OF LIFE.


“And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh unto me
shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.” John 6:35


SACRAMENTAL MEDITATIONS.


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| About Us | What's New | FAQ | Find Print Books | Download eBooks | Contact Us

Providence Baptist Ministries

Follow us on Twitter | Report Error | + Larger Font | + Smaller Font | Print This Page

Dr. Robert Hawker
(1753-1827)

Union and Communion with Christ


SACRAMENTAL MEDITATIONS.

IV. CHRIST, THE BREAD OF LIFE.


“And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh unto me
shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.” John 6:35


The church of our most glorious Christ is wholly spiritual. And such the Lord Jesus Christ himself declared it to be, when, in his conversation with the woman of Samaria, he said to her, “The hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth; for the Father seeketh such to worship him. God is a spirit, and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth,” (John 4:23-24). Hence, from this high authority, we scruple not to conclude, that the church of our most glorious Christ is wholly spiritual. All our knowledge of Christ is spiritual. All our ap­prehensions of Christ are spiritual. All our communi­cations from Christ; all our communion with Christ; all our enjoyments in Christ: all are spiritual. Neither can any that are truly born again live a day, no, nor an hour, in real health of soul, but as that life and health are both derived from him. The sun’s beams do not depend more upon that great luminary of the day, nor the stream on the fountain, than the soul on Christ. Hence the church herself was so thoroughly convinced of this, that at the close of a beautiful Psalm, in which the person and glories of Christ had been celebrating, she cried out: “All my springs are in thee,” (Ps. 87:7). And indeed it is this which forms the only real standard of character, to mark the Lord’s people from all carnal worship­pers. For the mere form of godliness, or the highest natural attainments in the profession of godliness; in reasoning, or talking, or even preaching, about godliness; differ as totally from the power of godli­ness, in the spiritual life of God in the soul, as tinsel from gold; or the painting of the picture of a man on canvas, to the man himself in real life.

And indeed it forms not only the distinction among mankind at large, in respect to religion, of nominal from real, or shadow from substance, but among the Lord’s people themselves. They are enabled, by spiritual communications from the Lord, and spiritual desires awakened by the Spirit in their souls towards the Lord, to discover how the pulse of their affec­tions beats in spiritual life, and how very graciously the Lord is frequently coming forth in the manifesta­tions of his love towards them. Yea, by this spiritual life of God in their souls, as discovered to them in the person of our most glorious Christ, they can, and do, discern the tendencies of all the persons in the Godhead, manifested to them, as they are in Christ. If, for example, I am come to Christ, as the source of all spiritual life, for my daily supplies of grace, and all covenant blessings, it is evident that I am come to Christ by the drawings of the Father: for Jesus him­self saith, that “none can come to him except the Father draw him.” So that herein I not only prove to my soul’s joy, that I am really and truly come by the Father’s drawing; but I also prove the everlasting love of the Father in this sovereign act of grace, in drawing me to his Son; for God the Father hath himself declared, by his servant the prophet, that because of “his everlasting love to his people, he hath drawn them,” (Compare Jer. 31:3, with John 6:44). And the Lord Jesus hath added another blessed confirmation of the same when he saith: “All that the Father giveth me shall come to me: and him that cometh, I will in no wise cast out,” (John 6:37). Hence, therefore, here is a double testimony to the great truth combined, both from the Father and the Son. And that God the Holy Ghost is equally engaged in those sovereign tokens of love, is confirmed in the whole tenor of scripture. His saving work of grace, in the hearts of the Lord’s people, is communion. There can be no fellowship with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ, but as the Lord the Spirit excites it. His gracious acts are directed to this very purpose, to open and reveal to the souls of the Lord’s people the love of God the Father, and the grace of God the Son; and then, drawing out the hearts of the Lord’s people, in acts of faith, and love, and adoration, and joy, upon the persons in the Godhead. And hence that very sweet prayer put up by the apostle for the church, is ex­pressly to the person of God the Holy Ghost: “And the Lord (said he) direct your hearts into the love of God, and into the patient waiting for Christ.”

The words of my text, which I have just read to you, are a beautiful illustration of this delightful doc­trine; and if the Almighty Author of them will graciously open and explain them to our hearts, we shall very readily perceive in what the spiritual life of a spiritual worshipper differs, from all the mere carnal professions and professors, in the world. If you will open your Bibles, at that part of Holy Scrip­ture from whence the text is taken, you will observe upon what occasion it was that our Lord so expressed himself. He had been miraculously feeding five thousand persons with five barley loaves and two small fishes; and bad moreover filled twelve baskets, with the fragments which remained, “over and above, unto them that had eaten.” And this afforded the blessed opportunity to our most glorious Christ, to speak to his disciples, and in the audience of the multitude, upon the sublime subject of spiritual food. And in a Sermon, which, with very little interruption, is continued from the 26th verse of this chapter, to the end, the Lord delivered that most sweet dis­course, out of which the words of my text are taken. The Lord he everlastingly loved and praised for it And God the Holy Ghost no less be everlastingly loved and praised for recording it, and causing it to be preserved and handed down to the church through all the intermediate ages, to the present hour. Sure I am, it hath refreshed the souls of many that are now in heaven, while they were on the earth. And equally sure I am, it doth now daily refresh the church, and will continue to refresh the church under the sweet unction of his savor, until time shall be no more.

“And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger: and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.” And it is most blessed to observe, how much the Lord dwelt upon the delightful subject, through the whole of his Sermon. He expressed the same doctrine repeatedly, and in a great variety of terms, by way of making it familiar to his people. “I am (said Jesus) that living bread which came down from heaven; if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever; and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.” The carnal Jews, within whose hearing the Lord of life and glory so ex­pressed himself, unconscious of anything of a spiritual nature, as all carnal men are; and taking Christ’s words in a literal sense, as all carnal men do; raised at once an objection against them. “How (said they) can this man give us his flesh to eat?” Upon which the Lord Jesus answered: “Verily, verily, I say unto you, except ye eat the flesh of the Son of Man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him. As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father, so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me. This is that bread which came down from heaven: not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead: he that eateth of this bread shall live for ever.”

The figure of bread, and of eating, and deriving sustenance therefrom, and the like, is most happily chosen, because it is of all other subjects, that we are most familiar with, and which our necessities daily compel us to the use of. For as in nature, so in grace; bread, which is called the staff of life, in consequence of its importance, is not more needful to the support of the body, than Christ, the bread of life, is to the soul. And as in nature, the man in health looks for his stated food, regularly day by day; eats it with-delight, feeds upon it, tasteth, and enjoyeth the sweet savor of it in his mouth, and re­ceiving it into his stomach; it becomes assimilated to his nature, and is the great preservative of life; so in grace, the redeemed and regenerated child of God, he also, when in spiritual health, hungers and thirsts for Christ; finds Christ, day by day, in his word, feeds upon him by faith, receives him into his heart, and relisheth the taste of him in his spiritual mouth and appetite, “sweeter than honey, and the honeycomb.” And thus from union with Christ, as the Lord Jesus himself expresseth it, “You (said Christ) in me, and I in you,” (John 14:20), the gracious words of Christ in the text, are fully proved to our soul’s joy: “Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life; he that cometh unto me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.”

In the further prosecution of this subject, as the Lord shall be pleased to favor, what I propose, is, to consider those words of our most glorious Lord, with reference to this precious doctrine, under the double view in which they are presented to the church; namely first, of the Almighty person of the Speak­er, who calls himself the bread of life: “I am the bread of life.” And, secondly, of the characters of those, that come to him, and the blessed consequen­ces of that coming. “He that cometh to me shall never hunger: (never hunger any more for the husks of this world, having found all spiritual sustenance in Christ) and he that believeth in me shall never thirst” (never more thirst, for any of the unsatisfying things of time and sense) having all fullness and sufficiency, in the glorious person and the finished salvation of the Lord Jesus Christ. The Lord in his abounding grace, give to all his redeemed family before him, such apprehensions in our spiritual fa­culties, both of his person, and his fullness; that we may indeed, each for himself, discover, as the Lord hath said, “He that eateth me even he shall live by me:” and as the Lord elsewhere expressed it in his conversation with the woman of Samaria; whosoever drinketh of the water of this world’s well, shall thirst again, “but whosoever drinketh of the water which I shall give him, shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him, shall be in him, a well of water, springing up into everlasting life,” (John 13:14).

But before I enter upon the subject, under those two branches of it; first of the Lord himself; and then of his people; I would beg to detain you at the threshold, with previously reminding the whole church of God which is here present, of the infinite importance of the subject itself. Let me not be thought unkind when I say; it is to be feared by what is visibly to be seen in the present day of much pro­fession, that there are not a few, who have long sat under the preaching of the gospel, who have no saving knowledge of the great and distinguishing truths of the gospel: like many, who at the ordi­nance of the Lord’s Supper, partake of the outward sign of bread and wine, but are altogether strangers to the inward and spiritual grace. And such will always be the case in both instances, as long as men are unacquainted with the person of Christ. For without a spiritual and scriptural apprehension of his person, how shall there be a well founded confi­dence, in his blood and righteousness? Who can feed upon Christ, the bread of life, if Christ him­self be unknown? All of this character, be they many or few, are like the professing church which was at Sardis, of whom the Lord himself said, “I know thy works, that thou host a name that thou livest, and art dead,” (Rev. 2:1).

And while I say thus much, under the hope of the Lord’s blessing it to the heart and conscience of any that hear me, who need the inquiry; let me add for the comfort and encouragement of the little ones of Christ, that the spiritual apprehension of Christ’s person, and the spiritual communion with him as the bread of life, are wholly from the free gift and grace of the Lord. There are no provisions nor pre­parations, neither deservings nor undeservings, to qualify or disqualify, on our part. The happy re­ceivers of the unspeakable blessing are simply receivers only; and all alike passive, when the Lord gives the grace. As the light from heaven shines unasked, and shines as lovely on the poor man’s cot­tage as the king’s garden—such is grace. “Every good gift, and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness neither shadow of turning. Of his own will begat he us, with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of first fruits of his creatures,” (Jam. 1:17-18). Hence, therefore, being altogether passive as to the gift, and without any merit to qua­lify for the blessing, the church of our most glorious Christ, in every individual, hath nothing more to do, than as we do by the light and the air, thankfully re­ceive both; walk by the one, and breathe the other. The Holy Ghost by his servant the Prophet, hath so beautifully expressed this simple dependence upon the Lord, as the standard of character, for ascer­taining the Lord’s people from the world, that I cannot forbear bringing it before you. “And the remnant of Jacob shall be in the midst of many peo­ple as a dew from the Lord, as the showers upon the grass, that tarried’ not for man, nor waiteth for the sons of men,” (Micah 5:7).

And having endeavored to call up the attention of that class of people for whom I particularly de­signed those observations; before I enter upon the more immediate subject of this discourse, in contem­plating Christ the bread of life; I hope, I shall not trespass the bounds of moderation, if I detain you with a short remark further; and chiefly for those, to whom I confess I have an especial eye, in the very subject itself: I mean, that part of the Lord’s family (if any of that description be here), who are truly redeemed and regenerated; and yet for the most part, in their walk and conversation, live in the un­consciousness of it. From the sense they have of sin, both original and actual; and from the convic­tion they have received, and constantly confess, of the righteousness and all-sufficiency of Christ; as these are the true scriptural marks the Son of God himself hath made the evidence of the work of the Holy Ghost upon the heart and conscience; (see John 16:8-11). there can be no doubt but that the Lord hath called them by sovereign grace, and from the power of darkness hath translated them into the kingdom of his dear Son. Nevertheless, from con­tinually poring over what passeth and repasseth in their own mind, instead of dwelling wholly upon the infinite glories of Christ’s person, and the infinite suitability, and lh they suppose themselves to appear in before God, by what they feel, than by what Christ and forgetting that the whole of the acceptation of the church, that our very being and well being is in our most glorious Christ; losing sight of these precious foundation truths in our faith, they have but little enjoyment of the divine life; neither of the blessedness which belongs to the Lord’s people, in having daily, hourly, “fellowship with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.” It will be a mercy of no ordinary kind, if the Lord the Spirit this day, in his glorifying our most glorious Christ, and taking of his, to show unto his people, should so bring him home to the heart and understanding of any and of all his chosen ones; that we may all have a true spiritual feast, and by faith feed upon Christ, the bread of life, to eat and live forever.

I begin, according to my proposal with the first branch of the discourse, namely, of the person of our most glorious Christ, who calls himself by this divine name, “the Bread of Life,” and the very expression implies his own eternal power and Godhead. For how could he impart life, unless in himself he had life? yea, and was, and is, and everlastingly must be, life in the abstract. Hence it is said of him, that “all things were made by him, and without him was not anything made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men.” Everything in the Gospel is bottomed on this sure foundation. The Son of God possesseth, in common with the Fa­ther and the Holy Ghost, all divine attributes and perfections. They are his underived. His is the Essence and Being of God, no less than the Father and the Holy Ghost. And his own statement of him­self is in perfect correspondence with it when he said, “I and my Father are One,” (John 10:30). Such are among the outlines in Holy Scripture, concerning the person of the Son of God, as God. Such is he proclaimed to the church, as the glorious object of our faith. And such we receive him to our soul’s joy: who is one with the Father, and the Holy Ghost, and “who is over all; God blessed forever. Amen.”

But we do not stop here. For while all that re­lates to our most glorious Christ, is necessarily bot­tomed on the almightiness of his person, as God, in oneness with the Father and the Holy Ghost, in all the essence and perfections of the Godhead; the manifestation of himself to his church and people, ariseth out of his assumption of our nature, in that holy portion of it underived from the fallen stock of Adam; but miraculously formed by the united ope­rations of the Holy Three, and taken by the Son of God, into personal union with his Godhead; so that the divine nature, and the human nature united, thus became one glorious Christ. (See Heb. 10:5. Luke 1:35. Heb. 2:14, 16). Hence, under this character, as God and man in one; our Lord Jesus Christ comes to his people, as John describes him;” That which was from the beginning which (saith John) we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled of the word of life: For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness and show unto you, that eternal life which was with the Father and was manifest unto us,” (1 John 1:1, 2). And here then we behold the infinite suitability of our most glorious Christ, in becoming visible, through this human nature, to his people; and of executing all the vast purposes and designs of Jehovah, in his Trinity of Persons, in and through all the depart­ments of nature, providence, grace, and glory.

From those views of our most glorious Christ, we behold under divine teaching, how it is, that by his union with our nature, he becomes to his church and people, as he graciously saith himself; “the bread of life.” For hereby, he can, and doth communicate to them through the medium of his human nature, the life and spirit he imparts from his divine. And hence, when we are spiritually enlightened to an ap­prehension of his person: and to the completeness of salvation in him, and by him; we then no less are spiritually enabled to discern what nature, in her highest attainments untaught of God, can never dis­cern; how, from this blessed compound of God and man in one Christ, he is the bread of life and the water of life; and communicates to all the members of his mystical body, “all things that pertain to life and godliness.” Yea, we not only feed on him spi­ritually by faith, and feel our souls refreshed with all spiritual blessings in Christ Jesus; as our bodies are, day by day with the bread that perisheth with using but our most glorious Christ is himself to us the sum, and substance of all blessedness. He is bread to the hungry, water to the thirsty, clothing to the naked, medicine to the sick; and, as the Prophet described him, “an hiding place from the storm, a covert from the tempest, rivers of water in a dry place, and as the shadow of a great rock in a weary land,” (Isa. 33:2).

If I have happily succeeded in giving a true scriptural description of the person of our Lord; though it hath been, as it must necessarily be, but very short and imperfect; concerning whom, it must be said, without an hyperbole, “there is no end of his greatness:” I will now request your atten­tion, to what was proposed under the second branch of discourse; namely, of the character of those that come to Christ; and the blessed consequences of their coming. “He that cometh to me shall never hunger: and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.”

Coming to Christ, and believing on Christ, are one and the same. For there is no coming to Christ for salvation without a knowledge of his person: and the knowledge of his person implies a belief in him for salvation. The one great object of faith is the person of our most glorious Christ. Our adorable Lord him­self thus expresses it: “seeing the Son and believing on him,” (John 6:40). The redeemed and rege­nerated child of God is supposed to be made acquainted with the person of Christ, who he is: and then, so to know him, as to feel a desire after him. There is a beautiful order in the Spirit’s work in the heart. “He shall glorify me” said the Lord. Jesus. (John 16:14). He first, therefore, glorifies the per­son of Christ to our view: and then it is said; “for he shall receive of mine, and shall show it unto you,” (John 16:15). The Holy Ghost so shows the finish­ed salvation of Christ, which he hath wrought for his people, that the mind and affections are won to the be­lief and enjoyment of it. We therefore so behold Christ, in our spiritual apprehension of him, as to know him; so know him as to love him; so love him, as to be delighted both with his person and salvation; and from feeling our need of him, and his infinite fullness and suitability to all our wants and circumstances; with his love to us, and his readiness to save us; that we heartily and cordially believe in him to our salvation, as to renounce all other means, and come to God only by him. And when Christ is thus revealed to the heart, and understanding, and conscience; and all the tender sensibilities of the mind are called forth into exercise by the Holy Ghost, and fixed on the person of our most glorious Lord, and satisfied with the perfection of his blood and righteousness; here is the full scriptural confirmation of Christ’s words; “he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.”

But while these are precious testimonies to assure every redeemed and regenerated child of God of his salvation in Christ, the words of the Lord Jesus, in the text, lead the mind into a yet nearer, and more intimate knowledge and enjoyment of him. There is a coming to Christ, and believing on Christ, so as to be weaned from all creature excellencies, and all creature attainments; and never more to hunger or thirst after aught but Christ: and which implies that spirit of affinity, and union with our most glorious Lord, as Moses taught Israel, when he said, “Cleave unto him, for he is thy life,” (Deut. 30:20). There is an union of soul, a oneness of mind, like musical instruments harmonizing to one and the same sound. They are in sweet concord. Such is the redeemed and regenerated child of God, when brought into this union with Christ; there is an unity of feeling and of desire between them. The mind is propelled towards Christ; for Christ hath manifested this affec­tion to the church. There is a personal union, a vital, spiritual union; “for he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit,” (1 Cor. 6:17). So, that one and the same spirit is in both. Somewhat not dis­similar, only in an infinitely inferior degree;-which Ruth expressed to Naomi, when she said, “Intreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee; for whither thou goest I will go; and where thou lodgest I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God; where thou diest I will die, and there will I be buried: the Lord do so to me, and *lore also, if aught but death part thee and me,” (Ruth 1:16-17).

I know not whether I sufficiently and clearly ex­press myself on this subject: but I mean to say, from all that I have said, that in our coming to Christ, and believing on Christ, as there is a fellow-feeling in our most glorious Christ towards his body the church; so there is in his body the church towards Christ, when awakened and regenerated by the Holy Ghost. Indeed the whole persons in the Godhead concur and co-operate in this gracious act. For .as our most glorious Christ, by marriage, hath taken into union with himself his church and people; and the Holy Ghost which dwells in Christ, by regenera­tion dwells in Christ’s people also; so God the Father, who hath given the church to his dear Son, hath impressed such an instinct in every one married to Christ, as to incline and draw their souls to Christ, to run after Christ, and long for Christ, and hath excited such desires after Christ as Christ alone can satisfy. And what I particularly beg the church to remark with me on this interesting view of this kin­dred of relationship, which we have with our most glorious Christ, is this; namely, that it is all special, personal, and peculiar, and hath privileges which belong to the Lord’s people as members of Christ’s body. Angels know nothing of such connection. They have not, for they cannot by their very nature feel such approximation. Elect angels indeed they are, as the church is an elect church in Christ. But both their election, and preservation by Christ, is wholly from Christ’s dominion: the church by union. They love Christ for his upholding power as their Lord. The church loves him as an Head and Husband. They are servants: we are children; yea, our Lord Jesus Christ not only stands in every rela­tion to us, and fills all; but brings us into a oneness with himself, being bone of our bone, and flesh of our flesh; and “we are members of his body, of his flesh and of his bones,” (Eph. v. 30).

And now then, shall I pause, to enquire of the several hearers in the congregation, what savor of Christ have any of you found, accompanying those precious words of Christ, when proclaiming in the text, “I am the bread of life?” And what unction from the Lord the Holy Ghost have any of you re­ceived, so as to be coming to him, never more to hunger, and to believe on him never more to thirst? Whose heart hath the Lord caused to “burn within you while the Lord himself hath been talking to you by the way, and opening to you his holy scripture? “Infinitely mysterious and sublime as the subject is in itself, that Christ should feed his people with himself; and as the pelican in the wil­derness feeds her young with her blood, so the Son of God should declare his flesh to be meat indeed, and his blood drink indeed; yet the ejects are visible, however secret and hidden the cause! If any here present hath so received Christ, and tasted that the Lord is gracious; it is among the plainest and most palpable truths to discover the gracious consequences; if your spiritual faculties are quicken­ed from the death of sin, and brought forth into action by a new and spiritual life, every one of them will be going forth in desires after Christ, and in communion with Christ. The eye being enlightened to see Christ by faith; you will behold him as the church of old did, “the altogether lovely, and the fairest among ten thousand.” The ear, unstopped by Almighty power, “to know the joyful sound, you walk in the light of God’s countenance; in his name rejoice all the day, and in his righteousness to be exalted.” The mouth, which spiritually eats of Christ, finds him to be sweeter to the taste “than the honey and the honeycomb.” The feet which in a state of nature, never moved with any desire after the Lord, now run the ways of God’s command­ments, being set at liberty. In short, all the affec­tions are spiritually going forth after Christ. And all the spices of myrrh and cassia, with the wine of the pomegranate, are as nothing compared to the fragrancy of that “precious blood of Christ,” which hath perfumed all heaven; and which, when sprinkled on the guilty conscience, “cleanseth from all sin.” Look at the contrast among the unawakened and un­regenerate. The carnal eye can see no beauty in Christ to desire him. The deaf ear, like the deaf adder, “refuseth the voice of the charmer, charm he never so wisely.” If persons of this description attend ordinances or means of grace, it is a bodily attendance only; for the scripture saith, “they draw nigh to God with their mouth, and honor him with their lips, but their hearts are far from him.” They have never been awakened, never regenerated; they have no sense of sin, no desire of salvation. Hence they have no spiritual life in Christ; no spiritual ap­prehension of the want of Christ; no spiritual desires after Christ; no spiritual knowledge of Christ; no spiritual communion with Christ. And while the Lord Jesus Christ day by day is the spiritual food of his redeemed ones, and is proclaiming himself, and making himself known to them, as “the bread of life; “all is a problem to every carnal man, and the question from their vacant minds ariseth as from the Jews of old, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?”

Ye that are followers of the Lord in the regenera­tion, take with you those blessed words of our most glorious Christ, and fold them up in your bosom for your daily meditation. And fail not day by day, and hour by hour, to eat this bread of life as necessary for the soul as the common bread is for the body. And 1 earnestly entreat the church not to forget, but remember, that in this and all other spiritual blessings, the whole of the Lord’s people are simply re­ceivers. There is no merit nor worth; no provision, nor preparation, in one more than in another, that hath the smallest pretensions to this “bread of life.” As the light from heaven, or as the dew or showers upon the grass, all are free, and cometh down from the Father of lights; so the grace of God hath the divine will only for its source; and admits of no superiority in one more than in another. All are what they are, from sovereign grace alone. The words of the Holy Ghost by Paul decidedly state this doctrine, and put it upon its own proper basis; namely, it is all as established by the unerring counsel and pleasure of God. At every step we take in the divine life, we may hear the gracious expostulation, “Who maketh thee to differ from another?” and “what least thou, that thou didst not receive?” All, therefore, are simply receivers, and no more!

And as all are receivers, so are they alike re­ceivers. The babe, the young man, the fathers, have their exact proportion. Like the gatherers of the manna in the camp of Israel, every one, it is said, gathered according to their eating. “He that gathered much had nothing over; he that gathered little, had no lack!” No! He that hath” Christ, hath all that he needeth in Christ. Christ’s a whole Christ to all. Grace is not to be estimated by the largeness of the gift, but by the love of the giver.

One word more and I will relieve your attention. I said that I had an especial eye, in this subject, of “Christ the bread of life,” to that class of the Lord’s people who are too apt to overlook the completeness there is in Christ for all we can possibly need; and are forever calculating more of their state before God from what they feel, than from what Christ is; more from what passeth in themselves, than what hath passed in the everlasting covenant, “ordered in all things and sure.” It will gladden my heart if the Lord, in his rich mercy, shall carry conviction into the minds of all such, not only of the infinite suitability, but of the infinite fullness of our most glorious Christ, that as the whole of life, and the whole of salvation, is in his person, and in his all justifying righteous­ness; coming to him we shall “never hunger, and believing on him we shall never thirst” And while his is the sole glory, so ours will be all the happiness in Christ Jesus our Lord.

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